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Robust Energy and Climate Indicators for the Steel Industry

Indicators are needed to monitor energy efficiency development and trends in greenhouse gas emissions in the iron and steel industry. Traditional indicators do not reflect the structural organisation of the sector and can be misleading. This project at KTH-ECS, in cooperation with Jernkontoret and Swedish industries, investigated how indicators for the steel industry can be improved to capture the achievements of Swedish industries.

Increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in iron and steel production is prioritized at national as well as international level. Indicators are important for monitoring the progress in industries. Several studies have shown that traditional indicators lack transparency and are perceived as misleading. Nevertheless, the European Commission recommends these indicators for the evaluation of the fulfilment of the Energy Efficiency Directive.

This research project aimed at evaluating and further developing the energy indicator methodology. Sandvik Materials Technology (SMT), Höganäs Sweden AB and SSAB EMEA have participated with detailed, specific, company data and deep understanding of production and market. The companies represent different ways of producing steel and can therefore in a wider perspective be seen as representing the Swedish steel industry.

A large step forward has been taken by increasing the understanding for how company structures and activities are affected by different external factors and how that is mirrored in the traditional energy efficiency indicators. Traditional indicators are today not robust enough to use for monitoring or governance, other than of separate processes within the companies. They should therefore not be used as a basis for policy making or reconsideration and updating of permit conditions by authorities. The further developed indicators, presented in this work, alleviate some of the effects influencing the traditional indicators. 

The project is important for companies as well as national and international organisations. Improved understanding of the influence of external factors and the new indicators can be used to support and evaluate policy towards increased energy efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The companies can also use this knowledge to formulate sharper indicators to monitor and control their operations internally. The political ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve efficiency in industry is high. Increased monitoring and controlling of energy efficiency in society as well as in companies will contribute to reaching political goals in a cost-effective manner.

The project was funded by the Swedish Energy Agency. Energy and Climate Studies at KTH implements the project in collaboration with the Swedish Steel Association (Jernkontoret) and three Swedish steel producers: SSAB EMEA, Höganäs AB and Sandvik AB.

Project leader:


Morfeldt, J., Silveira, S., 2014. Methodological differences behind energy statistics for steel production - Implications when monitoring energy efficiency.  Energy 77, 391–396. DOI: 10.1016/

Morfeldt, J., Silveira, S., 2014. Capturing energy efficiency in European iron and steel production—comparing specific energy consumption and Malmquist productivity index. Energy Efficiency. 7(6), 955–972. DOI: 10.1007/s12053-014-9264-8

Morfeldt, J., Silveira, S., Hirsch, T., Lindqvist, S., Nordqvist, A., Pettersson, J., Pettersson, M., 2015. Improving energy and climate indicators for the steel industry - The case of Sweden.  Journal of Cleaner Production. 107, 581–592. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.05.031

Morfeldt, J., Silveira, S., Hirsch, T., Lindqvist, S., Nordqvist, A., Pettersson, J., Pettersson, M., 2015. Economic and operational factors in energy and climate indicators for the steel industry. Energy Efficiency. 8(3), 473–492. DOI: 10.1007/s12053-014-9296-0

Morfeldt, J., Silveira, S., Hirsch, T., Lindqvist, S., Pettersson, M., Pettersson, J., 2015. Robusta energi- och klimatindikatorer för stålindustrin . (Project report in swedish)

For more information, please contact Prof. Semida Silveira

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